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Subject: What should I have passed? rss

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Aaron Fuegi
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At the BGG.con Tichu tournament came across a very interesting hand in terms of the pass so thought I would share it. From talking with people after, at least 6 different not crazy imo passes have been suggested.

The situation:
1) All competent players in the quarterfinals.
2) Score is 895(us) and 505(them).
3) Player on my left (playing after me) called Grand Tichu.
4) My hand is 1223459TJQKKKA (1-5 straight, 9-A straight and extra 2 and two extra Kings). Ignore suits - nothing looked like a bomb possibility.
5) Playing pass even to the right although don't think this too important here.

I'll post later what I passed, got passed, and what happened on the hand.
 
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Karl Schmit
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I'll throw in on the side of passing the 2 to the GTer and Kings to the other two.

I don't like breaking up the straight because this hand is really bad with four small singles. I play the pass hoping to get something that will break the Grand Tichu. If I just wanted to play it to keep the points(kings) then I guess I'd pass 2, 9, A and lead with 1-5 wishing for an Ace.

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Greg Jackson
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I like Karl's answer, although you're still going to need some good fortune. You can expect two low singles from your opponents and partner's hand probably isn't very good so it depends if they have and pass either A, Ph or Dr to you. If so you may be good, lead the low straight then (probably) win with 9-K. If you're left with two low singles and AA you may be ok, or with A Dr you're almost certainly golden, barring bombs.
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Doug Bass
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ratpfink wrote:
I'll throw in on the side of passing the 2 to the GTer and Kings to the other two.

I like that idea. I think I'd wish for an 8.
 
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Ken F
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I'm thinking 2 to the GTer, 9 to his partner, and the extra King to your partner. If the GTer got the Dog and passed it to his partner, or the partner was dealt the Dog, passing the King to him may allow him to get the Dog out of his hand and across the table. You could still lead with a 1-5 straight and if the GTer plays on top of it, you should still be able to take it from him with the Ten-Ace straight, and lead with the smallest card you got passed, or if lucky, a pair.
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Tom Thingamagummy
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boneroller wrote:
I'm thinking 2 to the GTer, 9 to his partner, and the extra King to your partner. If the GTer got the Dog and passed it to his partner, or the partner was dealt the Dog, passing the King to him may allow him to get the Dog out of his hand and across the table. You could still lead with a 1-5 straight and if the GTer plays on top of it, you should still be able to take it from him with the Ten-Ace straight, and lead with the smallest card you got passed, or if lucky, a pair.


^What he said, but I would look at the suit of the 2s to check for a possible straight flush completion. I'd pass the one that couldn't make a straight flush (if it's possible to tell from my other suits) to the GT caller.

Then I would play the 12345 and make a wish of a 9.

o If LHO can play, GT caller may pass as their partner will have the lead.

o If LHO passes, it's possible that my partner may be forced to play one, but the highest one my partner can play is KQJT9.

o If there are two passes, then I may hurt the GT caller, and I can overplay the GT caller with the AKQJT. If everyone passes, the wish doesn't hurt me as I don't have a 9 (unless someone passes me one).

o If everyone passes, then I can see what else is going on in the hand and decide what the next best action is. I can still play safely, as LHO has a single 9 I can still force with my wish.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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2K9, wish A. Good chance you force GT caller to burn Ph in a way he didn't want to. And you're happy to play 10-A if that option is still open when it gets back to you.

Of course the plan to wish A could be altered by what you got in the pass. Like if what you get in the pass looks good enough that you don't just want to cause pain to GT caller (the default assumption being the GT caller's LHO is in a better position to set), you might want to make no wish, on the small chance the straight walks, and you get to lead a low single.
 
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Aaron Fuegi
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ratpfink wrote:
I'll throw in on the side of passing the 2 to the GTer and Kings to the other two.


I'm mostly going to avoid commenting, but will on this one.

This would be my default pass at 0-0 and with no calls before the pass. If I was significantly behind, I'd even do this pass and call Tichu pre-pass. If my partner has the Dragon or Phoenix AND the 9-K wins (with an 8 call), I am very likely to make it, and this is one of the rare situations I'd call Tichu pre-pass.

However, I don't like this pass here for two reasons. First, it means I can't call an Ace with the 1-5, which with a Grand call after me I think is a significant cost. Second, and perhaps more importantly, I just REALLY don't want to give either opponent a King in this situation. Give it to the Grand caller and it will make his Grand easier and he is very likely to score it. Give it to the other person and increases the risk of a 1-2 which concerns me much more than the Grand call given the score. Like if I was offered that we could throw in the hand at this point and they get 225 and we get 75 - a fairly reasonable result I expect; I'd take it leaving the score 970-730.
 
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Chris Long
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curtc wrote:
2K9, wish A. Good chance you force GT caller to burn Ph in a way he didn't want to. And you're happy to play 10-A if that option is still open when it gets back to you.


I'd pass the same, but wish for a 9. And I agree that what I get on the pass could easily change that decision.
 
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Andy Latto
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I would still pass the 2KK (2 to Grand Tichuer, though if the score were even more lopsided, I'd pass the 2 to the Grand Tichuer's partner to stop the 1-2). You make good points against his, but:

If partner has a good enough hand that he's not passing you his best card, there won't be a 1-2 against you. If he is passing you his best card, the best way to avoid the 1-2 isn't to hurt the hand of the Tichuer's partner; it's to make sure you go out first or second yourself, and I think the 2KK pass is the way to do that.

The "Straight and call for an A" gambit is often very strong against a Grand Tichuer, but less so hear than usually:

There's a decent chance partner will pass you an A.
Your only play to draw more than one A is to lead 2 or 3 kings next, after which you're left (assuming you passed something like 29A) with TJQ and the 3 cards you've been passed. At this point, I think you've hurt your hand more than the Grand Tichu'ers; you're no longer likely to go out 1st or 2nd, and since we're assuming partner passed you his best card, he may not be able to either.
 
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Justus Pendleton
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If I'm in a gambling mood (with the score, there is some room for mistakes so I could be): Ace to my partner and split the 2s to the other team.

If I'm not in a gambling mood: 2, 9, K. Even though I think ending up with two straights like that is a mistake. Sure you might get rid of 10 cards straight away but you're going to end up with 2, maybe 3, crap singles with nothing to cover them. Your only hope is that the non-GT player gets the lead several(!) times and leads low singles.

But the quick play of 10 cards may cause someone to panic and play a bomb earlier than planned.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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The goal or expectation of of 1-5 -> 10-A is not to go out. It's to force GT to burn a lot of high cards right out of the gate. You could get Ph and A. I'm assuming my P is still going to be the one to set him, if anyone. That's why I wish for A instead of 9. Not to mention that if the 9 misses GT and hits my P, we could be easily going out 3-4. But honestly, without some serious good fortunate in the pass, and/or my P having good cards, I think putting some power out of GT is the only chance of setting him. But I'm actually not putting all my marbles on setting him, given the score. I'm perfectly happy just avoiding the 1-2, and ending up like 945 - 755.
 
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Lewis Wagner
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It depends in part on your partnership's passing convention. Many partners will pass a 1 to you in a GT defense (to let you wish for A from GT), but you have the 1. Otherwise, most will send you their best card or best unpaired. This makes it unlikely that a wish will strip your partner's P.

I'd pass 9 to the GT'er, 2 to his partner, K to my partner. My plan is to lead 1-5 and wish for the 9.

Ideally, you'll force a 5 card straight with the Phoenix (from the GT'er, not your partner). Either way, play over with 10-A. You now have 4 cards less, including your K, plus the passes, and you'll then lead at least 1 of those.

Even if you're left with junk, the opponents will likely play to honor the threat. If the 9 wish still stands, you can play to take advantage of that.
 
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Sean McCarthy
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I've already told Aaron that IMO the two best options are 9A2 (probably gaining the most points for our team) or 9A10 (best chance of tichu wrecking).

Reasons:

1) With a 1-5, passing the A away allows you to wish for one with a straight, which is really strong no matter what your priorities are.

2) Your hand is extremely unlikely to go out first due to positions and the cards you're about the receive. GTer's partner can easily wreck their own hand to block you from playing low singles, and barring receipt of a Phoenix/Dragon you will never gain back the lead once you lose it. So you must play for one or more of a) going out second with lots of points, or b) getting your partner out first. The A pass is good for both of these; losing a K is good for neither; breaking up your high straight is something you will probably want to do anyway in both cases, either to block the GTer's singles or step all over their partner's singles.

3) Both passes allow low straight, A wish. Keeping the 2 makes it more likely you can follow that up with a pair (wish for AA), but that's probably not worth the effort since wrecking the GT is not paramount. There is a good chance you receive a J or Q from your partner anyway.

Note, I play with an understanding that passing Aces to the GTer's right opponent prevents them from doing the whole straight-wish-ace thing, so I'd be very unlikely to receive an Ace. This calculus could change if you think your partner might pass you one.
 
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Aaron Fuegi
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aarondf@bu.edu wrote:
At the BGG.con Tichu tournament came across a very interesting hand in terms of the pass so thought I would share it. From talking with people after, at least 6 different not crazy imo passes have been suggested.

The situation:
1) All competent players in the quarterfinals.
2) Score is 895(us) and 505(them).
3) Player on my left (playing after me) called Grand Tichu.
4) My hand is 1223459TJQKKKA (1-5 straight, 9-A straight and extra 2 and two extra Kings). Ignore suits - nothing looked like a bomb possibility.
5) Playing pass even to the right although don't think this too important here.

I'll post later what I passed, got passed, and what happened on the hand.


Ok, I'll comment quickly on all the suggested passes and a couple of others and then say what I did and what happened.

I am going to list the passes as Left (Grand caller) Partner Right.

2KK - Addressed above.
2K9 or 9K2 - I think that for me this is basically just worse than Sean's 9A2 or 2A9. Passing the 9 and keeping the Ace almost obligates me to play the 10-A which isn't much better than 9-K and wastes the Ace. I don't like this.
TA9 - I reversed this from Sean as passing the 10 to the Grand caller makes more likely he will have to overplay the 1-5 which I think is good. However, I think keeping the 2 is very risky and not likely to be useful.
9A2 or 2A9 - I think this would be my second choice of pass after what I did and perhaps it is better. There is certainly some significant risk in what I did. Breaking up the high straight really isn't that costly in this situation.

Other passes not mentioned in this thread:
AK2 - yes, Ace to the Grand caller hoping to give him a Bomb. An interesting idea and has a fair chance of working. If partner passes me Ph or Dr and this works, could very well work to stop the Grand. Still, WAY too dangerous given the score.

354 - surprised nobody suggested this. For playing conservatively for points and to most avoid the 1-2 seems a pretty good choice.

What I actually did:
2A2 - Which Justus and Daviddesj (in a private message) support. Yes, some risk but not probably that much in terms of a 1-2. If I don't get a 2 back, forget about stopping the Grand (on my part at least, maybe partner can of course) and go for points which is fine. If do get passed a 2, almost certainly best choice. Btw, this pass does not require the 2 back to be good. It is a fine pass if I get back something like 4?3.

What I got passed and what happened:

I got passed 3J6.

The Grand was made easily and without us trying to stop it but we went out 2-3 and took 105 card points to win 1000-700.

In terms of stopping the Grand, the actual pass back makes 2KK best probably as it likely lets me get down to a single Jack. However, I still don't like this. I now only have 25 rather than 45 points to cash if I only win my own tricks (which with this hand seems likely). I wouldn't now call an Ace - would instead call an 8 - which I don't like. And in terms of going out with my Jack, I have passed the perfect blocking card, the King, to the player on my right.

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Oh, such painful memories!
 
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Andy Latto
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aarondf@bu.edu wrote:

9A2 or 2A9 - I think this would be my second choice of pass after what I did and perhaps it is better. There is certainly some significant risk in what I did. Breaking up the high straight really isn't that costly in this situation.

Why do you think it isn't costly? TJQKKK seems much harder to get rid of than 9TJQK. I think you have a much better chance to go out second and stop the 1-2 if you keep the straight.
Quote:

AK2 - yes, Ace to the Grand caller hoping to give him a Bomb. An interesting idea and has a fair chance of working. If partner passes me Ph or Dr and this works, could very well work to stop the Grand. Still, WAY too dangerous given the score.

Also, the chance that the Grand caller has the other 3 aces is much smaller given the score, since he will be calling Grand on 0 or 1 Ace much more often.

Quote:

What I actually did:
2A2 - Which Justus and Daviddesj (in a private message) support. Yes, some risk but not probably that much in terms of a 1-2. If I don't get a 2 back, forget about stopping the Grand (on my part at least, maybe partner can of course) and go for points which is fine. If do get passed a 2, almost certainly best choice. Btw, this pass does not require the 2 back to be good. It is a fine pass if I get back something like 4?3.

What I got passed and what happened:

I got passed 3J6.

The Grand was made easily and without us trying to stop it but we went out 2-3 and took 105 card points to win 1000-700.

So after the pass, you held 1334569TJJQKKK. It seems to me you were pretty lucky, or the partner of the Grand caller had a really bad hand, for you to go out third. As it turns out, your partner had a good hand (I assume the J he passed you was not his highest card). So I think what actually happened gives you very little information about what the best play is. Since at the important thing is beating the 1-2, the question of which pass is best when partner has a good hand is unimportant; you have a pretty good hand, and if partner does too, they won't go out 1-2. The question is which pass is most likely to avoid a 1-2 when partner has a bad hand, and I still think the best chance of avoiding 1-2 in that situation is to keep 123459TJQKA, and try to go out second, rather than hoping partner's bad hand is good enough to go out second when you pass him an A.
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Tom Thingamagummy
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Out of huge curiousity, did you open with the 1 and did you make a wish?
 
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Jeff Chunko
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I'm surprised that so many people are looking to dump the kings. I'd be much more likely to hope for a king from my partner to get a bomb of my own.
 
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Eugene van der Pijll
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Jeff Chunko wrote:
I'm surprised that so many people are looking to dump the kings. I'd be much more likely to hope for a king from my partner to get a bomb of my own.

Even if you get that 4th K, you can't afford to play them as a bomb. That would win you one trick, but you would have 4 single non-winners left (the 9-Q), and you would probably be unable to go out before the GT caller.

You'd only bomb if you want to disrupt the GT caller, hoping that your partner goes out first, but I think these cards show too much potential for you to be so desparate.
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Aaron Fuegi
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arkibet wrote:
Out of huge curiousity, did you open with the 1 and did you make a wish?


No longer having the low straight, I think I just took the simple route of calling an Ace. The play of the hand ended up being quite uninteresting and I barely recall it. Grand caller went out easily, and then Tom and I went out without too much difficulty.
 
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Tom Thingamagummy
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OH! You were playing with Tom Lehrmann? Now I know who you are. I didn't make the connection before when Jeff said he knew you from Boston.
 
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Jeff Fournier
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You know, we can always get in a game at UG if Aaron has a partner. I was looking forward to playing him. whistle
 
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Aaron Fuegi
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nyriv wrote:
You know, we can always get in a game at UG if Aaron has a partner. I was looking forward to playing him. whistle


Yeah, I'll be at UG and should easily be able to find a partner.

I also plan to at some point do a Tichu day at my house.

Aaron
 
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